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Fairly new ink cartridge which is almost full but unused for 90 days. Any way to get the ink flowing again?

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Hi genework1,

Here's a trick I've used with some success. Depending on the cartridge, this is for carriage mount styles like HP, Lexmark, Canon (current models) and others. Remove the cartridge, and soak the print-head portion where the tiny jets are located, in a small shallow dish with clear alcohol. Try swooshing it around a bit, and you may start seeing a discharge of the ink color you're using. Let it soak some more, dry it off and reinstall.

If the old ink is dissolved, then the cartridge may start printing, and it will be a little "weak" until the alcohol is mostly used up. This is not a guarantee to work all the time, but its worth a try. The "tank" style cartridges like Brother uses are another story, since they are reasonably priced containers with no print-head.

They have a tube system feeding ink to the print-head on the carriage. Either the print-head noozles or the tube could become clogged, and require factory service, or a pretty elaborate set of procedures to clear the blockages. I have had mixed results, refilling an empty cartridge with alcohol, and allowing that to try feeding the tubular system, and dissolve the dried ink. If it succeeds, then simply install a new or known good cartridge, and the problem may be solved.

I hope this will give you a chance to get your printer going again.

Regards, Bill

Posted on Sep 29, 2010

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